Former Phillips University Ceramic Art Professor Paul Denny loved helping people and making pottery. He recently passed away, but his memory will live on at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum with a new pottery class. On Thursday, October 4, Paul’s Beginning Pottery class will start at Leonardo’s and the teacher has a special connection to the art professor because she is his granddaughter. “I have knowledge of pottery because I grew up around it,” says Jamie Castle, Leonardo’s Art Education Coordinator.
Castle, an Oklahoma state certified teacher, will instruct students age 13 and up, on beginning skills needed in pottery. “I’m going to teach the class like my grandpa did,” says Castle. She says students will start with the basics and be able to make a pinch, slap and coil pot by the end of the eight week class. Castle’s mother and aunt who learned a lot from their father will lend a hand with the class.
“His passion was pottery and he had his own studio in his house so when he retired he could still work,” says Castle. Denny was one of the original teachers involved with Leonardo’s beginnings and helped get the “pottery lab” started. Originally the pottery lab was in the North East corner of the first floor of Leonardo’s and was a great space to make things that Denny would later fire in the kiln. It is believed that the special kiln was produced in the space because during renovation it had to be disassembled to remove it. This area is now a workshop for exhibit repair and the Education Annex has a kiln room.
Grandpa loved making vases Castle said.
His work was popular and also sold in art galleries. As many artists have done he exchanged art with fellow artists he met worldwide in his travels. His own personal collection had several famous art pieces. In turn his art is spread throughout the country and abroad.
Denny was very generous donating pottery to many local charities and he also made mugs that were sold in the Leonardo’s gift shop. Longtime residents may have some of his work in their collections
It is fitting that Leonardo’s founder Helen Garriott will also be a part of this new legacy because Paul’s Beginning Pottery Class will be taught in the Helen Garriott Classroom. The eight week class is $72 for members and $80 for non-members. It is open for teens age 13 to adult.
Leonardo’s Children’s Museum is looking for inventors! A new exhibit is coming Friday, September 14, designed to excite the minds of young Leonardo da Vincis, Stephanie Kwoleks and Nikola Teslas.
Did you know that the popsicle was invented by Frank Epperson in 1905 when he was only eleven years old. A fifteen year old, Chester Greenwood, invented ear muffs! The inventor of rollar skates, John Joseph Merlin first demonstrated his invention by careening into a party while playing the violin and then crashed into a mirror.
“‘Kid Inventor is a fun way to inspire children to use their creativity and explore possibilities,” said Executive Director Tracy Bittle. “Kid Inventor,” was developed by the Oklahoma Museum Network and funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The new exhibit encourages children to design, test and build unique creations using a variety of materials and technologies.
Guests are invited to sketch and shape ideas and then in the build area, the design comes to life: a car, a plane, a monster — and beyond — can be built with materials ranging from Legos to string, paper and straws. Finally, inventors can move to the test area to investigate how their creations react to variables like a wind tube, an airstream table, a timed race track or a launch pad.
In the exhibit’s “Tech Studio,” guests can brush up on animation skills, practice coding, and try their hands at sound mixing and engineering, and in “Spare Parts,” creators can build from the ground up with only their imaginations to limit them. This new exhibit replaces the popular Backyard Bugs Exhibit and is included with paid admission. Come play at Leo's today!
It has been a year since Founder Helen Garriott has passed away but she is not forgotten at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum. “She was an amazing person who gave so much to the community,” says Executive Director Tracy Bittle, “Not only is she the reason Leonardo’s started, but as an artist and educator she touched so many lives.”
Her paintings are displayed all around the museum and Education Annex of Leonardo’s and can be viewed by guests but her pottery skills are also legendary. Many people might not have known that she holds a copyright on her “Moon Pots.” She had made thousands of these special pots and they were sold in every country in the world. The original mold for the form had broken so it won’t ever be able to replicate. For those lucky ones that have an original Moon Pot they sure are to be a treasured piece of her one of a kind spirit.
In Helen’s own words she describes that the pots are meant to make you feel as if you are standing on the moon, looking across the blackness of space at the little Earth in the distance. She meticulously hand painted each pot using very fine beach sand in the glaze to give it texture.
The moon pots are a great example of how art and science combine perfectly. Of course her husband Owen K. Garriott is a famous Sky Lab NASA Astronaut and together they established Leonardo’s Children’s Museum more than 26 years ago. It’s an example of how daily art and science activities are carried out at Leonardo’s to provide STEAM education.(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Helen’s ideas were very forward thinking as the STEAM concept is key in today’s classrooms. Today her legacy continues to impact children and families as the next generation continue to be inspired.
Leonardo's Backyard Bugs exhibit is alive! A part of the exhibit features the Oklahoma's State Butterfly, the Black Swallowtail (papilio polyxenesis). Children are able to see the life cycle from the larva stage (Caterpillar) to Chrysalis to maturity. Recently, two Black Swallowtail butterflies were released by a young guest in the garden at Adventure Quest.
The Black Swallowtail became Oklahoma's official state butterfly in 1996 and is native to the state. Butterflies are a great pollinators for native and cultivated plants and they are fun to watch. This butterfly is one of 180 different butterflies and skippers that have been counted in Oklahoma.
Butterflies are attracted to red, orange, pink, and purple flowers. They also like large petals for stability. The larva stage (Caterpillar) needs certain plants for growing and when they change into butterflies they need nectar plants. Most butterflies prefer full sun and may rest on flat stones to soak up the sun.
Another cool Oklahoma native butterfly is the Monarch. Most Monarch's live 2-6 weeks but the last Monarch life cycle of the season will travel each year to Mexico for the winter. This is an amazing migration with some Monarch's traveling 3000 miles to get to their winter destination. A single Monarch can travel 50-100 miles a day and make the entire trip in two months. Once in Mexico they rest in the Oyamel Fir Trees.
To better understand the migration process, researchers will tag Monarch butterflies and then record in Mexico ones they discover.
They are in need of help for host plants for their eggs and larva. They need milkweed to grow into butterflies. Consider planting one of the many beautiful varieties of milkweed.
Want to attract butterflies to your back yard? Here are some great plants that the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's recommends:
Nectar Plants: Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii); Glossy abelia (Abelia grandiflora); Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)*; False indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)*; Lanatana (Lantana spp.); Engelmann daisy (Engelmannia pinnatifida)*; Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)*; Joe-pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum); Blazing star (Liatris phycnostachyan)*; Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia); Pentas (Pentas lanceolata); Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)*; Showy sedum (Sedum spectabile); Snowy bergamot (Monarda didyma); Summer phlox (Phlox paniculata)*; Tuber verbena (Verbena rigida)
*Oklahoma native species
Larval host plants and butterflies attracted to them: Trumpet Honeysuckle*……….. Spring azure; Mildweed*………….Monarch, queen; Indian paintbrush …..Bucheye, fulvia checker spot; Sweet clover ………Common, alfalfa and orange sulphers, dogface butterfly; Reakirt’s and Eastern tailed blues; fairy yellow; gray hairstreak; spring azure; Lantana/Thistle#……Painted lady, American painted lady; Parsley/Dill/Carrot…..Eastern black swallowtail; Sweet Alyssum….Checkered and cabbage whites Sunflower (annual)# ……gorgone and silvery crescentspots, painted lady, American painted lady; Lamb’s Quarters*….Painted lady, common and scalloped sootywings, Western pygmy blue Violet*……Variegated and great-spangled fritillaries; American Elm*…….Question mark, mourning cloak, painted lady, comma Hackberry/Sugarberry*….Snout and hackberry, tawny emperor, mourning cloak, question mark; American Plum*….Coral and striped hairstreaks, spring azure, tiger swallowtail; Passionflower*….Gilf and varigated fritillaries; Rose of Sharon…Gray hairstreak; Hollies ..Henry’s elfin; Apple….Viceroy, red spotted purple, gray hairstreak, spring zure
*Oklahoma native species
The 11th annual Leonardo's Messer Bowers Princess Ball is a special evening for Father/Father Figures and their Daughters. This year the royal ball will be at the beautiful 81 Ranch, Saturday, September 29, from 6 pm until 8 pm.
Little girls get to meet princesses, dance and enjoy refreshments. Also each girl will get a treat bag at the end of the evening with a commemorative ticket to save in their memory books of their special night with their daddy.
This popular event does SELL OUT and if interested purchase tickets to ensure your daughter's spot at the ball. Go to the Princess Ball event page to get tickets!
Details to know before you go:
"The quality of lesson plans, teachers and campers has been great this year," says Jamie Smith, DaVinci Day Camp Summer Camp Director. Smith adds that the teachers have really been super creative in their lesson planning. This week is all things Super hero! At the end of the week, Enid Comic Con is being held at the Central National Bank Center and it is inspiring families to get in the spirit.
Some of the fun activities at camp this week include finger knitting super hero wrist bands, glass jar art, edible art and super hero masks. Each day is different at camp. The day begins with play in the museum and also includes some time outdoors at Adventure Quest. There is a healthy snack in the morning and again in the afternoon.
What a great summer of educational fun at DaVinci Day Camp! School is starting soon but DaVinci Day campers made lots of memories at Leonardo's. There is still more fun to do at Leonardo's before summer is finished. So come and play at Leo's today!
DON'T FORGET... starting in August the museum in CLOSED on Monday's.
Also, September 4-13, 2018 the museum is CLOSED for annual maintenance.
Upcoming fun includes: NEW EXHIBIT September 14 Kid Inventor
Princess Ball September 29 6pm --8 pm 81 Ranch
Motor Mania October 13 10 am--noon
Fall Festival October 19 10 am --noon
It is holiday celebration week at DaVinci Day Camp week seven! Each day campers will learn about different holiday's that are celebrated around the world and make fun art projects.
The week started of with the Mexican holiday El Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. This multi day holiday focuses on the gathering of family to honor deceased relatives.
Other holidays include: Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, Birthdays Around the World and Christmas in July. Campers made Chinese lanterns, dragons, pinatas, snowman and Mardi Gras floats. DaVinci Day Camp Teachers are Oklahoma state certified and design special lesson plans each week that the children enjoy.
Each day includes time to explore the museum and outdoor play at Adventure Quest. Healthy snacks are part of the morning and afternoon. Friendship is also a part of being in camp.
It has been a fun summer so far but there still is ONE more week of DaVinci Day Camp.
Next Week is Super Hero Week! All things super hero! In celebration of Enid Comic Con which is coming on August 4-5 to the CNBC, campers will explore the Super Hero Universe.
The force is strong with this camp! Star Wars week is not just about the popular movies, but also focuses on planets and the solar system. DaVinci Day campers are using their imaginations, creating cool art projects and learning fun science.
The first Star Wars movie was released in 1977 and has been a commercial success with over $8.5 billion in box office revenue. The first 8 films have been nominated for Academy Awards and the movies have created a huge franchise industry of video games, comic books, action figures, etc. This popular movie series is a great way to motivate children to learn.
Creative play with hand made light sabers or Star Wars Chewbacca puppets are fun for all ages. Even the Leonardo's Apprentices are enjoying this week!
This week is one of the most popular weeks of DaVinci Day Camp! Besides hands on art and science lessons, campers get free time to explore the museum and play outside at Adventure Quest each day. Included in the camp are healthy snacks in the morning and afternoon.
Next week is Holiday's Around the World. Each day campers will be learning about a different holiday from around the world. Friday, the last day, will be Christmas in July! It is not too late to sign up for next week, but it is a good idea to call to see availability. Call Leonardo's at 580-233-2787.
This week our nation celebrates the 4th of July and it is a great week to highlight all 50 great American states. America is a melting pot of culture and a land with so much variety. Teacher's are using the theme of America to design lesson plans incorporating hands on art and science activities.
Campers learned the history of The Liberty Bell, which is in Pennsylvania at the Independence National Historical park. After hearing the interesting story about the bell, the campers got to recreate their own version complete with a crack down the middle. Also the majestic Bald Eagle, which is the National Bird of the United States was used as an inspiration for art projects.
Campers are enjoying learning all things America and making friends. Each day students get free time to play in Adventure Quest and in the museum as well as educational classes. Healthy snacks are included in the morning and afternoon.
Next week is the popular Star Wars Week. This week will be filled with art, science and STEM projects. Teacher's will focus not only on Star Wars, but the solar system. Check for availability if interested in signing up your children for this fun week or other upcoming weeks by contacting the front desk at 580-233-2787.